February 14th is right around the corner and we all know this day brings mixed emotions to many. We say: LOVE YOURSELF! Here are 14 lovely reminders how to love yourself.
1. Me time
You’ve probably heard this one a billion times and still think “Yea okay guys, I can’t even get to the laundry and you’re telling me to carve out me time!”. Yes… That’s exactly what we’re saying. We sometimes avoid our need for “me” time by thinking about how we’re denying attention to other things that are important to us, such as our family, our friends, our to-do list, our fear of missing out, the laundry, or whatever else. Don’t push yourself to complete anything during “me-time”… just enjoy the moment.
Exercise: take 15 minutes today and label it ME TIME. 15 minutes may not sound like a lot, but everyone needs to start somewhere. Read a book, stretch, enjoy a warm beverage, take a bath with a bath bomb or even just watch the wind passing through the trees. Make sure you acknowledge this as Me Time and don’t let anything or anyone distract you.
2. Stop “should-ing” yourself
I should go to the gym, I should drink more water, I shouldn’t drink so much wine… Sound familiar? We’ve grown so familiar to believing we are supposed to do and be everything all the time. Using the word should makes you lose control of your focus and emotions. It takes the place of more accurate and powerful phrases like “I want,” “I can,” and “I will.” I want go to the gym, I will drink more water, I can drink “a little” less wine. Get rid of the guilt that should-ing all over yourself can create and take full ownership of the way you speak to yourself.
Exercise: Become aware when you should yourself. Every time you speak the word “should” STOP! Stop what ever you were going to say and rephrase in a positive, powerful sentence.
3. Just breatheee
Do you ever take the time to check on your breathing? Well you should! Besides the common benefits such as increasing energy, calming the nervous system and releasing muscle tension, deep breathing can also affect our mental state. The quality of our breath helps to relax the mind and enhance the ability to learn, focus, concentrate and memorize.
Exercise: Breathe deeply while counting to 10. Between every breath, take an extra breath for space. Inhale oneeeee, exhale spaceeeee, inhale twooooo, exhale spaceeeee. Repeat.
4. Be grateful
Practicing gratefulness improves self-esteem, reduces aggression and could actually make you sleep better. Study’s show people who took the time to write down gratitudes right before bed tend to sleep better and longer. We all have the ability acknowledge gratitude. Rather than complain about the things you think you deserve, take a few moments to focus on all that you have. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.
Exercise: Get a pen, paper, sit comfortably and set a 5 minute timer. For 5 minutes write down everything and anything you are thankful for. From family, friends, pets to coffee, wine and even those black yoga pants you live in. There’s one catch! While you are thinking, don’t let your pen leave the paper. Once the 5 minutes are up, take a moment to let the feeling of gratefulness sink in. Repeat weekly.
You want me to do what? TALK POSITIVELY TO MYSELF? What a concept. Affirmations are more than just a self-help statements to make ourselves feel better. They can have a significant impact on our overall quality of life. Like most new things, the hard part is getting started. You may remember the popular practice in the film “The Help” … “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important”.
Exercise: Choose 2 affirmations you can start with. Here are some examples: I am kind, I am smart, I am important, I am successful, I am healthy, I am fit, I am worthy, I am a goddess! Now, say them repeatedly to yourself daily. If you still find this exercise hard, crank up “Stronger” by Britney Spears and shout it out loud! STRONGER THAN YESTERDAYYYYY!! NOW IT’S NOTHING BUT MY WAYYYYY.
6. Set goal. Smash. Repeat!
Do some Goal-Diggin’. Set yourself specific, attainable goals and crush them. This will light up that self-love, self-discipline feeling deep down. Be present while setting your goals. Typically when a goal is not achieved it’s because deep down it was only a surface goal and nothing true to what we really want.
Exercise: Write down one goal and be specific. If you’re tempted to write “exercise more”, write down “walk 30 minutes twice a week”. Here’s the important part: rewrite your goal every morning. Once you feel comfortable, add more goals. If you’re tempted to write “drink more water”, write down “drink 12 glasses of water”. Make sure you are planning to crush your goals, like carrying a reusable water bottle or packing your running shoes in your bag. Lastly, measure your progress. If you did not attain your goal, ask yourself why? What got in the way? You can not improve what you don’t measure.
Increases energy & relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, improves skin complexion, maintains regularity, boosts immune system, natural headache remedy, prevents cramps… do we need to keep going? Drinking more water has so many benefits and will improve almost every aspect of your health. Jennifer Aniston has been a Smart Water ambassador for a decade now a swears upon drinking 3 litres of water a day. The Friends superstar is by our opinion “GOALS”. Natural, genuine beauty with healthy glowing skin that radiates confidence and self love.
Exercise: Screw 8! Try 12 glasses of water a day. By setting your goal of drinking twelve 250mL glasses of water a day, or six 500mL bottles if you so choose, you will increase your odds of being a hydrated wonder human.
8. Move that body
YES! YES! YES! Exercise doesn’t have to be a 90 minute gym session causing anxiety and cold sweats… we just want you to get that blood pumping. Jumping jacks, few air squats, maybe a burpee if you feel like it… anything really. Getting that blood moving makes you feel happier, increases energy levels, helps skin health and even helps with relaxation and quality of sleep.
Exercise: Since you’re drinking plenty more water now, make it a point that every time you go to the bathroom, you exercise. Even if you can manage 5 air squats, that will add up thru ought the day.
9. Be a smarty pants
Learning something new everyday can enrich your life with fresh ideas, new people and inspiration. Knowledge empowers you! Ever heard “knowledge is power”? We’d rather say that applied knowledge is power. Today there are more books written, videos demonstration and blogs explaining anything you’d love to learn. Push yourself to learn and self-discipline yourself to apply.
Exercise: Choose one new thing you could learn. A recipe, making a new cleaning solution, a magic trick for your kids, a new move at the gym or even a skill that would be helpful at work. What ever you choose, learn this new skill and apply it within a week. Don’t worry if it takes time to master, practice improves everything.
10. Learn to let go
This can be quite the challenge for some. It can take a long time to realize that other peoples problems are just that – other peoples problems. It’s important to accept you cannot change and save everyone. Learn to establish boundaries, offer help where it is welcomed and know when to walk away. You can always show kindness and compassion to others but not to the extent of hurting your own emotional health. Sometimes you just have to let things go.
Exercise: Forgive someone! A moment, an action, an expression of words. Forgive them from inside of you. To truly let go and move on, sometimes you have to forgive people who aren’t even sorry. Sometimes you have to accept an apology you’ll never receive. That takes so much strength and courage and humility.
11. Say no
Sometimes saying no means protecting your own well being. two little letters, “no”, can have a big impact on your relationships with others—and with yourself. The two most common reasons we don’t say no is because it looks weak, like you can’t do it, or you like keeping people happy. Saying no means you value your time, you know what you want, you can stand your ground and your are saying YES to yourself.
Exercise: Next time you’re struggling to say no… try one of these polite but affective ways to say NO:
Thank you for the invite…
Thanks for thinking of me…
I appreciate the offer…
BUT, that is not a priority for me right now.
12. Accept who you really are
Learning to accept yourself for who you are is the most important step to self-love. When you look at someone else’s success, you only see the result. You’re comparing what you SEE in others to what you KNOW about yourself. Plus, it’s a huge waste of time and our time is limited and valuable. Accepting yourself brings out the joy in our accomplishments as we are only competing to better ourselves. A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.
Exercise: Try to be aware of when you start comparing yourself to others … once you’ve developed this awareness, try this: STOP YOURSELF. Tell yourself, “Stop that!” Then instead think of all those gratitude’s you’ve written down weekly. Breathe deeply and smile because you’re kind, you’re smart and you’re important.
13. Buy yourself flowers
You know yourself better than anyone else. Buy yourself your favorite blooms. What we’re talking about is celebrating you. Praise yourself, reward yourself, and give yourself some love! You do so much and still you think it's too little. Flowers can give you an immediate mood boost improving your emotional health. Heck, why not buy yourself a dozen red roses on a Monday and choose to date yourself?
Exercise: BUY YOURSELF FLOWERS AND ENJOY THEM. Smell them, display them, arrange them in a way that makes you feel happy.
Have you ever been to a yoga class, sweating, cringing, agonising and all of a sudden the teacher says: “smile”? Wow. What a difference enjoying the moment can make. We believe there is magic in a smile. Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being.